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(Source) ISTANBUL (CNS) — Praying for the protection of the environment includes asking God’s forgiveness for the small or serious ways each individual contributes to pollution, said the Ecumenical Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople.
Patriarch Bartholomew, the Istanbul-based spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox and a longtime promoter of Christian ecology, issued a message on the environment Aug. 27 in preparation for the celebration Sept. 1 of the Day of Prayer for the Environment.
The Sept. 1 observance was begun by Patriarch Bartholomew’s predecessor in 1989 and has been adopted by other Christians, including the Catholic Church in Italy. Pope Benedict XVI has said the day of prayer is an important ecumenical initiative.
In his message for the 2012 observance, Patriarch Bartholomew said God “created the universe and formed the earth as a perfect dwelling place for humanity.”
Praying that God protect his creation, therefore, is “essentially a petition of repentance for our sinfulness in destroying the world instead of working to preserve and sustain its ever-flourishing resources reasonably and carefully,” the patriarch said.